|Ken Allen (Chairman)
Adrian Dalsey (Co-founder)
Larry Hillblom (Co-founder)
Robert Lynn (Co-founder)
|Products||DHL Express Worldwide
DHL Express 9:00
DHL Express 12:00
Number of employees
|Slogan||Express & Logistics.
We move the world
All the way
I'm on it!
Excellence. Simply Delivered.
DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international express mail services. Deutsche Post DHL is the world's largest logistics company operating around the world, particularly in sea and air mail.
Originally founded in 1969 to deliver documents between San Francisco and Honolulu, the company expanded its service throughout the world by the late 1970s. The company was primarily interested in offshore and inter-continental deliveries, but the success of FedEx prompted their own intra-US expansion starting in 1983. DHL expanded to countries that could not be served by any other delivery service, including Cuba, the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc, Iraq, Iran, China, Vietnam and North Korea.
In 1998, Deutsche Post began to acquire shares in DHL. It finally reached majority ownership in 2001, and completed the purchase in 2002. Deutsche Post then effectively absorbed DHL into its Express division, while expanding the use of the DHL brand to other Deutsche Post divisions, business units and subsidiaries. Today, DHL Express shares its DHL brand with other Deutsche Post business units, such as DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain.
While Larry Hillblom was studying law at University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in the late 1960s, he accepted a job as a courier for the insurance company Michael's, Poe & Associates (MPA). He started running courier duty between Oakland International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, picking up packages for the last flight of the day, and returning on the first flight the next morning, up to five times a week.:12
After he graduated, Hillblom met with MPA salesman Adrian Dalsey and they planned to expand MPA's concept of fast delivery to other business enterprises. They flew between Honolulu and Los Angeles, transporting bills of lading for their first client, Seatrain Lines.:17
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Hillblom put up a portion of his student loans to start the company, bringing in his two friends Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn as partners, with their combined initials of their surnames as the company name (DHL). They shared a Plymouth Duster sedan that they drove around San Francisco to pick up the documents in suitcases, then rushed to the airport to book flights using another relatively new invention, the corporate credit card. As the business took off, they started hiring new couriers to join the company. Their first hires were Max and Blanche Kroll, whose apartment in Hawaii often became a makeshift flophouse for their couriers.
In the 1970s, DHL was an international delivery company, and the only one offering overnight service. The only major competitor in the overnight market was Federal Express (FedEx), which did not open its first international service until 1981, expanding to Toronto, Canada. Nevertheless, the domestic market was extremely profitable, and DHL was the third largest courier behind FedEx and the UPS.
Deutsche Post purchase
Deutsche Post began to acquire shares in DHL in 1998, finally reaching majority ownership in 2001. Following the completion of the purchase in 2002, Deutsche Post effectively absorbed DHL into its Express division, while expanding the use of the DHL brand to other Deutsche Post divisions, business units and subsidiaries. Today, DHL Express shares its DHL brand with other Deutsche Post business units, such as DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Freight, DHL Supply Chain, and DHL Global Mail.
All US domestic flights were handled by DHL Airways, Inc. which in 2003 was renamed ASTAR Air Cargo following a management buyout. DHL's first airline still remains with over 550 pilots in service, as of October 2008.
- 2001: Deutsche Post acquires a majority (51%) of DHL's shares, and the remaining 49% in 2002. The new DHL is launched by merging the old DHL, Danzas and Securicor Omega Euro Express.
- 2001: The Packstation, an automated delivery booth, is introduced as a pilot project in Dortmund and Mainz.
- 2002: Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937, a Tupolev Tu-154 passenger jet, collides with DHL Flight 611, a Boeing 757-200 cargo jet, at 35,000 ft (11,000 m) over Überlingen, Germany. The 69 people aboard the Tupolev (consisting mainly of Russian schoolchildren) and the two pilots of the Boeing were killed.
- December 2002: Introduces red and yellow new color scheme and logo.
- August 2003: Deutsche Post acquires Airborne Express, and begins to integrate it into DHL. The Airborne Express Airline named ABX Air is to provide contract ACMI service until 2011.
- 22 November 2003: DHL shootdown incident in Baghdad wherein Iraqi insurgents fire an SA-7 "Grail" surface-to-air missile at a European Air Transport Airbus A300 operating on behalf of DHL. The aircraft takes off from Baghdad airport and the missile strikes the left wing, disabling all three hydraulic systems and setting the wing on fire. The aircraft begins a dangerous phugoid (vertical oscillation) but the crew manages to land safely at the airport, despite only being able to control the aircraft by adjusting the engine thrust.
- September 2004: a planned expansion by DHL at Brussels Airport creates a political crisis in Belgium.
- 21 October 2004: DHL Express announces that it will move its European hub from Brussels to Leipzig, Germany (Vatry, France was considered and rejected). DHL's unions call a strike in response, paralyzing work for a day.
- 8 November 2004: DHL Express invests €120 million in Indian domestic courier Blue Dart and becomes the majority shareholder in the company.
- September 2005: Deutsche Post makes an offer to buy contract logistics company Exel plc, which had just acquired Tibbett & Britten Group.
- On 14 December 2005, Deutsche Post announces the completion of the acquisition of Exel plc. When integrating Exel into its Logistics division, it adds its well-known DHL brand acquired with the purchase of DHL Express to form the name DHL Exel Supply Chain. Following the latest deal, DHL has a global workforce of 285,000 people (500,000 people including DPWN and other sister companies) and roughly $65 billion in annual sales.
- September 2006: DHL wins ten-year contract worth £1.6 billion, to run the NHS Supply Chain (part of the UK's National Health Service). DHL will be responsible for providing logistics services for over 500,000 products to support 600 hospitals and other health providers in the United Kingdom. As part of this new contract, in 2008 DHL will open a new 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2) distribution centre to act as a stock holding hub for food and other products, with another distribution centre opening in 2012. The two new distribution centres will create around 1,000 new jobs.
- September 2007: DHL Express co-founds new cargo airline AeroLogic, based at Leipzig/Halle Airport, in a 50:50 joint venture with Lufthansa Cargo. The carrier will operate up to 11 Boeing 777Fs by 2012.
- December 2007: DHL becomes the first ever carrier to transport cargo via wind powered ships flying MS Beluga Skysails kites.
- May 2008: DHL Aviation moves its central depot to Leipzig; Germany, resulting in a significant positioning for improved service and timeliness to the European Union.
- 28 May 2008: DHL Express announces the restructuring plans for its United States network, including terminating its business relationship with ABX Air and entering into a contract with competitor UPS for air freight operations. Its cargo hub shifts from Wilmington to Louisville. The Air Line Pilots Association, International protests. See also: Wilmington, Ohio
- October 2008: Two DHL Express Middle East senior executives, David Giles and Jason Bresler, are assassinated in Kabul, by one of their own Afghan employees; they receive military honors by the U.S. military, the first of such kind in Afghanistan.
- 10 November 2008: DHL announces that it is cutting 9,500 jobs as it discontinues domestic air and ground operations within the United States to deal with economic uncertainty. It is retaining international services, and is still in talks with UPS to transport DHL packages between U.S. airports.
- 30 January 2009: DHL ends domestic pick up and delivery service in the United States, effectively leaving UPS and FedEx as the two major express parcel delivery companies in the United States Limited domestic service is still available from DHL, provided that the packages are tendered to USPS for local delivery. NewEgg and RockAuto are companies that use this option as of March 8th, 2016.
- April 2009: UPS announces that DHL and UPS have ended negotiations for an agreement for UPS to provide airlift for DHL packages between airports in North America. DHL says in a statement, "We have not been able to come to a conclusive agreement that is acceptable to both parties." DHL continues to use its current air cargo providers, ASTAR Air Cargo and ABX Air for now.
- On 18 March 2010: A DHL Antonov An-26 aircraft makes an emergency landing on the frozen Lake Ülemiste, close to Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. Initial reports indicate problems with the landing gear and one of the engines. The flight is operated by Exin on behalf of DHL. The aircraft involved is SP-FDO and the flight departed from Helsinki Airport. Two of the six crew members were injured.
- June 13, 2013 in Erlanger, Kentucky, USA – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear joined DHL and local officials to unveil the company's newly expanded and upgraded global hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). DHL Express, a division of leading global logistics company DHL, has invested $105 million over the past four years to enhance infrastructure and add state-of-the-art sorting capabilities to meet increasing demand. The expansion includes a new 180,000-square-foot sorting facility specifically designed to accommodate larger express shipments, an expanded south ramp for additional wide-body aircraft, an employee and pilot building, and a facility-wide information technology upgrade. The expanded global hub sits at the heart of the DHL U.S. network, with flights connecting customers from more than 220 countries and territories worldwide to every corner of the United States. In addition to global hubs in Hong Kong and Germany, the CVG hub completes the backbone of the DHL intercontinental network.
- DHL shapes up its ocean freight technology with "Ocean Secure". Customers can choose between container tracking along key milestones, monitoring of any opening of the container, or of temperature and humidity in the container leveraging the DHL SmartSensor GSM technology as well as real-time and in-transit information for all container parameters from remote areas and at sea through satellite transmission.
DHL Express's global headquarters are part of the Deutsche Post headquarters in Bonn.
Headquarters for the Americas are located in Plantation, Florida, USA, while its Asia-Pacific and emerging markets headquarters are located in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. The European hub is in Leipzig, Germany.
Most of DHL Express' business is incorporated as DHL International GmbH.
Major competitors include FedEx, UPS, TOLL, TNT and national post carriers such as United States Postal Service (USPS) and Royal Mail. However, DHL has a minor partnership with the USPS, which allows DHL to deliver small packages to the recipient through the USPS network known as DHL Global Mail, now known as DHL eCommerce. It is also the sole provider for transferring USPS mail in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
DHL offers worldwide services, including deliveries to countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Myanmar (formerly called Burma). As it is German-owned, DHL is not affected by U.S. embargoes or sanctions and will ship to Cuba and North Korea. However, there are strict codes for delivering to North Korea, as the country has shaky relations with the West.
As DHL is no longer a United States company, it is not allowed to make domestic flights between U.S. airports. DHL contracts these services to other providers.
DHL has taken measures to control their environmental impact by use of the alternative fuel vehicles. DHL changed vehicles in certain delivery fleets in order to use alternative fuels. Certain new vehicles use compressed natural gas, to which DHL hopes to convert 50% of their vehicles in the future.
On 16 September 2005, DHL won a High Court injunction establishing an exclusion zone around each of its 288 buildings in the UK as well as the homes of its 18,000 UK employees. The firm has been the subject of a campaign of intimidation because of their business with Huntingdon Life Sciences. The judge banned protesters from coming within 50 yards (46 m) of any DHL premises or the homes of their employees as well as any organized demonstration within 100 yards (91 m) unless the police had been given four hours' notice. The injunction also protects anyone doing business with DHL from intimidation.
Deutsche Post owns five airline subsidiaries operating for DHL Express, operating a total of 96 aircraft and another 21 aircraft on orders, which are collectively referred to as DHL Aviation Additionally, DHL Express is an equal partner in a sixth airline that operates for DHL Express:
- Blue Dart Aviation, Chennai, India, provides services for Indian destinations from Chennai International Airport
- DHL Aero Expreso, Panama City, Panama provides services for destinations in Central and South America
- DHL Air UK, Hounslow, United Kingdom provides services for European destinations from East Midlands Airport
- European Air Transport, Leipzig, Germany provides services for European destinations from Leipzig/Halle Airport
- AeroLogic (joint venture with Lufthansa), Schkeuditz, Germany provides services from Europe to central and eastern Asian destinations from Leipzig/Halle Airport and Frankfurt Airport
- SNAS/DHL, Bahrain provides services for Middle East destinations from Bahrain International Airport
For several years, DHL was the primary sponsor of the Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Prototypes in the IMSA American Le Mans Series. DHL also sponsors Ryan Hunter-Reay's #28 IndyCar Series car for Andretti Autosport since 2011. With DHL, Hunter-Reay won the championship for the 2012 IndyCar Series season as well as the 2014 Indianapolis 500. DHL were the main title sponsor of the Jordan Formula One team during 2002. Since then, DHL has become a regular track-side sponsor at various races throughout each year, as well as becoming the 'Official Logistics Partner' of the sport. Since 2007, they also sponsor the DHL Fastest Lap Award for the driver that achieves the most fastest laps in a season.
Manchester United Football Club announced them as their first training kit sponsor in August 2011, agreeing to a four-year deal with DHL reported to be worth £40 million; it is believed to be the first instance of training kit sponsorship in English football. In 2014, FC Bayern Munich agreed to a six-year sponsorship deal with DHL. In 2012, the company became the main sponsor of League of Ireland club Bohemian F.C.
DHL is the current title sponsor of the South African Western Cape based Rugby Union teams Western Province and the Stormers. This is came into effect on 1 January 2011 for a period of three years.
In 2014, the company is sponsoring, with IMG Fashion, DHL Exported, which is aimed at "assisting designers who are already successful locally to gain momentum internationally". DHL Exported will "sponsor a chosen designer for two consecutive seasons at" the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week or Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo. IMG Fashion "will accept applications from February 17 through April 2 at dhlexported
Expanding its support to various cultural endeavors, DHL signed as the Official Logistics partner for Cirque du Soleil. DHL transports up to 2000 tones and 80 freight containers utilizing air, sea and land to transport the equipment from one city to the next. 
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